Beaten by another injury-plagued season, an ailing national economy and a dry free-agency market not suited to matching his asking price, he had little choice but to reverse course.
No free agency, then, this summer.
No more money.
No doing what he had insisted he would.
"We hope," O'Connor said Tuesday night, "that he can stay injury-free and play like he did in 2007-08."
Boozer — who now will be unrestricted in 2010, unless he agrees to an extension with a team to which he's traded — endured a 2008-09 season interrupted for him by a quadriceps strain and subsequent knee surgery.
He's missed about one-third of his games during his five seasons in Utah due to injury, including 31 in 2004-05, 49 in 2005-06 and 45 in '08-09.
But Boozer did play 81 of 82 regular-season games in '07-08, when he averaged 10.4 rebounds and a career-high 21.1 points per game.
The money-driven decision could prove quite costly to the Jazz, as their projected payroll for next season — not including money for backup power forward/restricted free agent Paul Millsap and a required 13th player — has been pushed by Boozer's opt-in to a way-over-the-cap $73,907,990.
That also puts the Jazz a pinch over the NBA's projected payroll luxury tax threshold for next season, and — if they do retain Millsap, which evidently continues to be the plan — it could mean they'd be looking at paying more than $13 million in tax penalties.
The Jazz, though, can save some money by trading Boozer and taking back a player or players whose salaries for next season total just 75 percent of his.
It's something that could happen sooner rather than later, according to those in-the-know.
Boozer had been seeking a deal starting at about $14 million in the coming season, but his only obvious suitor with both interest and spending money — Detroit — evidently was not willing to start him at much, if any, more than $12 million.
And that prompted Boozer's camp to swallow pride, change plans and remain in Utah.
"It had nothing to do with love for Salt Lake City, that's for sure," ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard told ESPNews.
Career (432 games): 16.8 ppg10.0 rpg53.6 FG%
2008-09 (37 games): 16.2 ppg10.4 rpg49.0 FG%
Career (531 games): 13.9 ppg7.2 rpg46.1 FG%
2008-09 (72 games): 17.0 ppg7.7 rpg48.5 FG%
- Former BYU running back Luke Staley paying a...
- Morning links: Bronson Kaufusi could be on...
- Dick Harmon: Sitake is taking advantage of...
- Free agent roundup: Where local prospects are...
- For some Jazz players, their future is up in...
- Utah State football: Offensive lineman Tyshon...
- 41-year-old mom looking to join U.S. team,...
- Local flavor in the NBA (and beyond): Lillard...
- Former BYU running back Luke Staley... 116
- Big 12 would be better off expanding,... 82
- Going the distance: BYU, Big 12 aren't... 63
- Dick Harmon: Big 12 expansion probable... 56
- Former BYU quarterback Jake Heaps signs... 35
- Report: Utah's Poeltl, Weber State's... 28
- Dick Harmon: SUU, Kaufusi big winners... 27
- Utah baseball team surprisingly leads... 21